Christmas eCommerce sparkles with product discovery
InStory: Santa Claus for Retailers
InStory examples by industry
Limited only by your imagination
Although the wholescale transition from brick and mortar retail to online shopping was well underway before 2020, the global pandemic has hastened it considerably. Put plainly, the pandemic ushered in an unprecedented shift toward eCommerce that, perhaps, no other phenomenon could have. And now that customers have discovered the ease, convenience and safety of online shopping most won’t be returning to stores, malls, and outlets to do their holiday shopping this season.
If retailers don’t “up” their digital marketing games prior to the holidays they risk being left out in the cold in an online Christmas shopping season that will likely shatter records. Statistics conclude that this means retailers must place customer experience at the forefront of everything they do.
More precisely, in this post-pandemic age, this means tailoring personalized marketing campaigns to individual customers. All because, this Christmas, the competition for customers’ attention will be fiercer than ever.
These are the questions marketing departments are asking and the very questions InStory was created to answer.
InStory brings the aesthetics, fun, and engagement power of social media to desktop and mobile websites like never before. It is a dynamic marketing tool perfectly suited to make the most of Black Friday, Christmas and all holiday season marketing campaigns by driving discovery and engagement.
Designed to address the micro-attention spans of consumers, InStory allows retailers to personalize stories (i.e. “pitches”) for individual consumers based on a consumer’s past, present, and AI-predicted future behavior.
Does an already loyal customer love a specific lipstick brand? InStory allows retailers to place that lipstick front and center on their website.
Does a potential customer have no brand loyalty, but a deep appreciation for value? InStory allows retailers to make their blowout promotions the focal point of that potential customer’s experience.
InStory was created to get beyond the bluster. It doesn’t make online shoppers dig for what they like, it knows what they like (or may like) and offers those products to online shoppers in a way that is simple, intimate, and fun. This not only leads to increased sales, but impeccable customer experiences.
Personal, “snackable” storytelling
Closely mirroring the look and feel of social media, an InStory begins with one, or many, simple, circular thumbnail images of targeted, consumer-salient products, invitations, or promotions that are pre-determined to display based on the user/customer’s purchase history and current interests.
When a customer clicks on one of these thumbnail images a full, vertical story/promotion unfolds; a fun, bite-sized adventure for the user that is highly personalized.
One quickly sees how useful such a tool could be for retailers and marketing strategists come Black Friday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any festive eCommerce campaign.
One of InStory’s great benefits is that it makes these brief, personal InStories very easy to create. Ready-to-go templates allow retailers to “plug and play” so that, right off the bat, retailers can spotlight their bestselling products, influencer content, brand collaborations, trends, hashtags, and more in a fun-sized format built to engage and convert.
And for those retailers who demand even more, InStory boasts a DIY editor that allows them to create compelling designs at speed and scale without the need for a team of designers or developers (see how it works).
Like the big man himself, InStory boasts a bag of goodies for retailers and marketing departments to make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year, namely the capability for deep, data-driven customer segmentation.
During a season in which people are carried by the holiday spirit and more attuned to buying than at any other point in the year, InStory makes sure shoppers see what they need to. Imagine data has determined that a particular potential customer has a large and close-knit family, suffers from allergies, and has been browsing for an artificial Christmas tree, indicating his/her preference for the blue spruce variety.
InStory places that tree in a thumbnail that, when clicked, expands full screen to show/tell the story of a large, loving family exchanging gifts, encircling the retailer’s artificial blue spruce Christmas tree; a story that is sure also to mention the non-allergic benefits of artificial Christmas trees. Now that’s a precisely targeted user experience!
Fashion & Apparel, Home & Furniture, Consumer Electronics, Travel, Beauty & Cosmetics—all of these segments factor into gifts that can be given for Christmas; and products in all of these segments can be introduced to customers most effectively when retailers use InStory because bite-sized, personalized content makes it easier for shoppers to find what’s aligned with their individual interests, faster.
InStory can help beauty brands personalize stories for each user based on their category affinity, celebrity influencers they follow, brand collaborations, sales affinity, and much more. Let’s take a look at a customer who is looking for Christmas sales and gifs. Here’s how you could tailor InStory to them:
Segment: Discount affinity high
Segment: Likelihood to Purchase (LTP) High
Promote best selling products at the first InStory slot
Segment: Users who visited X category (Holiday products) more than 4 times in the last month but did not purchase.
Segment: Game Lovers
Segment: VIP loyalty members
Segment: Users who purchased min 1 item in last peak shopping season
InStory’s potential stretches as far as the imagination of the retailer using it; and that potential only grows stronger as retailers discover what works best for them. During the Christmas season, marketing departments might want to know which color is more attractive to shoppers, red or green.
They might want to know if calls to action are clicked on more frequently by visitors when those CTA’s do or don’t contain holiday puns.
InStory offers metrics retail marketers can see—Views, Average Story Duration, Tap Forwards, Tap Backs, etc.—so that those marketers can tailor campaigns perfectly and make the most of the 2021 Christmas Season.
With 12+ years of experience in consulting, building, and marketing technology products for clients across industries, Srikant is a product leader, storyteller, data fanatic, and UX/usability enthusiast. He often appears as a speaker on panels about personalization and optimization and has a passion for building simple solutions to complex problems, and is currently pursuing that at Insider.